Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe

Sinanglay is a dish wherein fish (such as tilapia) is cooked in coconut milk. This dish is somewhat similar to Ginataang Tilapia. However, certain ingredients and procedure differentiates this dish from the later. The first few steps in preparing Sinanglay remind me of Inihaw na Tilpia or Inihaw na Bangus. I usually stuff the fish with onion and tomatoes before grilling; this is also one of the factors that differentiate Sinanglay from Ginataan. I was told by a Bicolano friend that they usually use lemongrass to tie the fish. According to him, the fish needs to be tied in order to secure the stuffing while cooking. Another benefit of using lemongrass is that it brings-in a nice aroma to the dish. I can’t find any lemongrass this season so I opted for an alternative: Pechay (or Bok Choy). The fish needs to be wrapped in Pechay leaves for the same reason; but, I made sure that the cavity would remain closed while the fish is being cooked. I did it by tying kitchen twine around the fish.

Try this Sinanglay na Tilapia recipe and let me know what you think.

Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe


  • 2 pieces medium tilapia, cleaned and scales removed
  • 4 pieces wide bok choy (or pechay) leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 pieces medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 thumb ginger, chopped
  • 3 pieces long green chili
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Watch the cooking video:

Cooking Procedure

  1. In a bowl, combine garlic, onion, tomatoes, and ginger then mix.
  2. Stuff the tilapia with the garlic, onion, and ginger mixture.
  3. Wrap the bok choy around the tilapia. I use 2 bok choy leaves to ensure that the entire fish is wrapped.
  4. Secure the bok choy by tying a kitchen twine around the tilapia. (this step is optional)
  5. Arrange the wrapped tilapia in a wide cooking pan then pour-in coconut milk and water. Sprinkle salt, cover, and turn on heat.
  6. Cook the fish in medium heat for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat. Remove the cooking twine and transfer the fish to a serving plate.
  8. Serve hot. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 4

Ginataang Tilapia Recipe

This Ginataang Tilapia Recipe is really yummy. Ginataan (or guinataan) is a Filipino cooking method that means “cooked in coconut milk”. Ginataang Tilapia is a dish where Tilapia (a fish belonging to the tilapiine cichlid tribe) is cooked in coconut milk (or cream) and served with banana peppers.

This method is popularized by the Bicolanos, the fifth-largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group that lives in the southern islands of Luzon. There are many other ingredients that can be cooked with Coconut milk but my taste buds are craving for Ginataang Tilapia as of the moment. I can’t wait to put my hands on this yummy fish.

Ginataang Tilapia

Try this Delicious Ginataang Tilapia Recipe and let me know what you think.

Ginataang Tilapia Recipe
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 3
  • Serving size: 3
Cuisine: Filipino Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 lbs tilapia, cleaned (about 1 kilo)
  • 2 cups coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 1 knob ginger, cut into strips
  • 1-2 banana pepper or finger chili
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce (patis)
  • 4 pieces red chilli pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  1. Heat the cooking oil in a cooking pot.
  2. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in the hot oil
  3. Once the onion become soft, add the fish sauce and ground black pepper. Stir.
  4. Pour in the coconut cream and stir. Let boil and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the banana pepper and tilapia. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes. Add some water if needed.
  6. Put-in the red chillies. Cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach and simmer for about a minute.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate.
  9. Serve Hot. Share and Enjoy!


Watch the cooking video: